Faith without action is dead!

I have been under the false assumption for most of my Christian life that faith is something that I believe about God, or a situation and the work is done. As long as I did not waiver on that faith and stood firm in that then I would be ok. When thoughts of doubt would come, I would quickly push them away believing that I was being a good strong Christian. I did not realize that there was a bit more to faith than that.

I was given a great example of true faith and actions that accompanied it this past week.

I had gone with a friend to visit her mom in hospital, and before I had gone I had asked the lord to prepare my heart for what I was to see, and what he said about the situation. He had led me to various scriptures about faith, and how by people believing him, they were healed from their diseases.

He showed me through scripture that there were various kinds of requests that came to him from the people that he ministered to, some came from people who had the ailment, then others were for a friend or family member with the ailment, and others were out of pure desperation, knowing that if Jesus did not intervene then all hope was lost. The bible says, that Jesus responded, like this, “By your faith you will be healed, he had compassion on the people seeing that they were harassed like sheep without a Shepard.” He responded to the faith of the people who approached him, begging for his intervention in their lives.

All of these people had to act on their faith, they had to make themselves heard over the noise of the crowd, they had to come to him and ask, they had to brave the social stigma’s and believe and ask anyways.  That is what God desires of us, that we will believe and push through and act as if what we have asked for has been given. Just like these people, and Jesus gladly gave them their requests because their actions, of pushing through despite all of the social issues involved.

So with my faith bolstered I went with my friend. While there we encountered some opposition to the faith that we came with but without knowing it, my friend showed me the principle of faith and action put together, will produce a good result.

In the book of James, he is teaching the people that faith and deeds need to go together, now to be honest I have read this many times, and agreed for it to be true, but I guess I never really understood what the lord was trying to get through to us. Read the following scripture and let’s discover together this great treasure that he has for us.

James 2:14-26

 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?   Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.   If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.   You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. 

 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.  In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. 

I would like to take a moment and concentrate on Abraham, God had asked Abraham to take his son Isaac up to the mountain and sacrifice him, he did not give him a reason, but just asked him to do it. Now you have to remember that Abraham and God had history together at this point, Abraham knew that God was true to his word, he knew that God could be trusted and so if he asked him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of the promise that God had given him, Abraham believed that God could raise him from the dead.

Hebrews 11:17-19

 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. 

Abraham believed that God would deliver his son from harm, so therefore he set off to do what God had told him to do, he took his son to the mountain, had his son carry the fire wood and the flaming stick to burn the sacrifice and when they reached the place wanted the sacrifice made, Abraham built the alter. All the while believing that God had a plan and purpose for it.

For those of you who are familiar with the rest of the story, God did indeed have a plan, and just before he was about to kill his son, they heard a noise in the bush and found a ram, stuck there. They knew that that is what was needed for the sacrifice.

Scripture tells us that God was pleased that Abraham put his faith and his actions together, he believed God would deliver them, so he acted as if that deliverance was already a fact even though it was not yet seen.

That is where the next verse of scripture that God gave my friend and I came in very handy this past week,

Hebrews 11:1-2

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.   This is what the ancients were commended for. 

The lord had us repeat this verse over and over this weekend as the evidence before our eyes, says that there is no hope for my friend’s mother, but God tells us to have faith for what we do not see and act on that faith.

This is exactly what my friend did, she could see the evidence, but her faith being stronger than the evidence, kept her from crumbling, and she would speak to her mother with the assurance of life being brought back into her frail body.

That is how we prayed to, with the assurance that God is at work in her mother’s body, raising her up and bringing healing and hope to her.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the thoughts of “are you nuts, can’t you see what is going on before your eyes” were right there alongside us, but my friend taught me a very valuable lesson, one that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my days;

That even though the evidence in front of you says one thing, our faith and our actions need to speak a different thing if we are to see God’s hand at work.

God honors our faith, when we show him through our actions that we believe him over the reports of man.

This was such a valuable lesson for me, as I discovered that Faith is all about, us seeing through God’s eyes, and believing for his power to work in our situation.  

My prayer for you, is that you too will begin to ask the lord to give you his eyes to see your situation as he sees it.

 

Filed under: Faith